Reub's journey

13 September 2014

Shaniko, OR


It was hot and dusty; we'd been on the road for a good 4 hours when, feeling the need for ice cream, we came upon Shaniko, OR.


Shaniko's heyday was in the early 1900's when it was a thriving center for the wool industry. It contains some charming old buildings, many abandoned and for sale.


Interested in buying it? Go here.
This hotel was fixed up by a wealthy history buff from the Portland area, but after contentious dealings with the locals, he closed it.  The flap was interesting enough to be a New York Times article a few years ago.


Still, you can get ice cream from a little shop owned by the mayor, and you can find antiques and t-shirts down the road.


 It's a pretty great place to take pictures.



 If you like old weathered stuff you should take a stroll around Shaniko.



 Were they just pulling my leg, or was this for real at some point? I thought maybe it was true.


 Then again, a ghost town that contains yarn bombs shouldn't be taken too seriously.


 Cups and bowls on an old chuck wagon.



 Ceiling of a sheep herder's wagon.


 Every old western town needs a jail.




Step right in.


I love this wood stove. Maybe being in jail would have been cozy.



 I was crazy about a fire engine, which seemed like it ought to work.


 But like Shaniko itself, although it had a lot going for it, somehow it just didn't run.


Shaniko is one of those places that is just on the edge of survival. A hundred years have passed since it was a bustling town, and mostly it is in pretty tough shape. 



Yet there are those who live there, love it, and try to make a go of it. This rustic little cabin is nearly ready to be rented out for intrepid visitors with a taste for the old West.  I'm tempted to try it out next year. At least I know I can get ice cream if I need it.

17 comments:

  1. wow! quaint place that's just a little bit theatrical. :)

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    1. You're right- it was both quaint and theatrical. People had worked on it. Most of the old buildings had open doors and we just wandered around, taking it in. I had never heard of this town before.

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  2. Seems like you've already seen all there is to see in Shaniko.

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    1. Yup. Well... I didn't go into alll of the buildings.

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  3. What a cool place! I'm adding it to my "must visit" list.

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    1. Only about 3 hours from Portland, You could do it!

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  4. Looks like a town right out of HELL ON WHEELS, the TV series. Too bad the entrepreneur and the town folks could not reach a happy medium. Right now our church, like most small town churches, is facing the dilemma of trying to grow despite the angst of older members who do not want change. This ends up killing most small churches these days and we can see it doesn't do much good for ghost towns either.

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    1. Hell On Wheels? I better go look for that! Right up my alley.
      The dilemma over growth is a thorny one, so it seems. You can't have development without change and that's hard to agree on. As with so many confrontations in the West, the breakdown in Shaniko's deliberations occurred primarily over water issues.

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  5. Fascinating place. Very photo worthy.

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    1. Thanks AC. I took a lot of pictures there!

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  6. I loved this history lesson and your photos are ever so beautiful. Many thanks. It's always good to get to know new places, even if it's only online. :-)

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Hello Cuban! I hope you had a great summer & wonder if you traveled to places of your own?

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  7. Fascinating. Too bad the locals and the money bags could not find a middle ground.

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    1. It is too bad. Kind of a classic situation though. Mr. Money developed a Civil War property in Virginia in much the same way he hoped to build up Shaniko, but rural westerners proved to be a different kettle of fish.

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  8. I thought Changs was totally serious but then I thought PLEASE.

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    1. Right? ...still...the worst jobs ended up in the hands of the poor Chinese...I don't know!

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    2. PLEASE!!! Just like the sign. hahahaha!

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